May 18, 2020, Austin, Texas – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Higher Education Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, and Trellis Foundation announced that the Texas Emergency Aid Grant Program, launched three weeks ago, has awarded 57 grants to Texas higher education institutions. These include 29 community colleges, 16 public universities, and 12 independent, non-profit Texas institutions. The grants, totaling $710,000, support students across every region of the state during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I’m proud that together we are providing much-needed assistance to these Texas institutions and the more than 300,000 students they collectively serve across the state,” said Commissioner of Texas Higher Education Harrison Keller. “Throughout this process, institutions have shared with us the struggles their students are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some seeing dramatic increases in student emergency aid requests. I am grateful to our partners, including Greater Texas Foundation and Trellis Foundation, for helping students stay on track to obtain high-value credentials. Looking ahead, we know that Texas graduates will play a critical role in the recovery of the Texas economy.”
Grant applications were received from 124 higher education institutions across Texas, requesting assistance for a variety of needs including food, housing, and technology support to help with the transition to online learning.
“Greater Texas Foundation’s mission centers on helping more Texas students earn postsecondary credentials. This fund is a critical resource for directing financial support to students impacted by COVID-19 so they can stay on track to achieve their educational goals,” said Greater Texas Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Sue McMillin.
“Our Texas colleges and universities are playing a vital role in Texas’s recovery efforts,” said Trellis Foundation Executive Director Kristin Boyer. “We appreciate that so many of them are putting students at the center of these efforts, and we thank the Coordinating Board for stepping up to support them through the creation of this emergency fund.”
The Texas Higher Education Foundation serves as the fiscal agent for the Texas Emergency Aid Grant Program, working to identify additional sources of funds that may be used as a match to private philanthropic dollars, such as the anchor funding donations by GTF and Trellis of $500,000 and $200,000, respectively. Individuals may join this effort by contributing online. Every additional dollar raised will help provide crucial resources to another institution and its students during this time of unprecedented need.
The goal of this public-private partnership is to continue raising money to support the state’s two- and four-year institutions with block grants of $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the size and need of each institution and its student body. These grants are designed to expand existing emergency aid programs offered by Texas higher education institutions and complement the federal funds provided by the CARES Act by providing resources for capacity-building support of emergency aid programs or through direct emergency student aid.